Monday, July 9, 2012

"Breaking" News?

Folks, a diversion from the UFO photos.

A regular reader of the blog sent me an old story, which we decided to post in order to let you chew on the mystery and maybe cast some light on it. The story involves our reader/reporter whom we'll call Ms R. The experiencer in this tale we'll call Ms X. And the third party friend in the story we'll call Ms 3. All of this is because: who needs any extra grief in their lives if they aren't volunteering for it, correct?

The background of the event is this: This was in 1981 in a middle-sized university town, and the three ladies were liberal arts co-eds and friends. Ms X and Ms 3 lived in a rented house; others not relevant to our story also lived there, but were not involved. Our own Ms R lived in another location. Ms R, Ms X, and Ms 3 were best friends.

One fine day, Ms X was alone in the house. A woman described as an adult, and somewhat peculiar, came to the door and asked to use the phone. Unfortunately, we have no more description of this individual's clothing or appearance otherwise. Ms X let the woman in and showed her the phone. All that we know following this, regarding her, is that she stood in the room with the mouthpiece close, and repeated "hello... hello... hello... " incessantly in a monotone, until it became quite creepily disturbing. Ms X was extremely relieved to see her finally quit and go.

Alone again now in the house, Ms X heard a terrific explosion upstairs. She ran outside and found neighbors looking up at one of the windows in the house. It had blown outward with great violence and glass shards were all over the street. Upon inspection, there was no glass whatever on the inside of the room upstairs, and no evidence of any "bomb" having gone off. This severely shook up Ms X even more than the strange woman, and, contemplating things like "evil spirit forces" carried into the house by a disturbed person, she stayed rattled the rest of that day, until first she told Ms 3, who tried to calm her down, and secondly, Ms R saw her at a normal meeting spot, where she was told the story.

So there our mystery stands. There are, of course, ways to break a window and leave the glass scattered about on the outside. Throwing a brick through it from the inside is the most "concrete", but since no one was inside and no such offending object was found, this "best guess" seems out as our solution.

How else can we break a window?? Certain forms of windows are breaking at a surprising frequency it seems for, apparently "simple", physical-science reasons, albeit poorly understood ones. All over the place we have reports not from the anomalies sectors, but from the maintenance and repairs sector, of windows suddenly shattering. The main offenders are microwave oven doors [even while not being used], shower doors, and car windows, particularly backhatches. These windows seem to be shattering due [paradoxically] to a manufacturing process which is supposed to make them safer. It's a heat-treatment technique called "tempering". There is a lot of discussion of this on the internet.

This disturbing phenomenon probably has nothing to do with our mystery. Ordinary glass house-windows of the 1980 ilk had no such fancy tempering manufacture. Additionally, tempered window breakage usually reduces the glass to much smaller pieces than the typical glass breakage shards. And we still have to get a distinctively outwards force.

So what else have we got to work with? If you had either a big atmospheric pressure build-up inside, you could blow the [flawed] window out. Conversely, if you set up a vacuum just outside the window, you could pull it out. The micro-localized vacuum outside the window is probably more bizarre than "ghosts" so let's disregard that. Heat rises in the upper stories of houses. It builds up near the upper story's ceiling. If the room was well sealed, could it blow out a window?? Maybe. It doesn't ring true for this case however. The event seems to have taken place during the school year and in a non-heat belt state. Also, the idea that a room would have such a tight seal in an old student ghetto house stretches credulity. Lastly, and most significantly: this was a LOUD explosion.

Another way of "exploding" glass is by vibrating it at a harmonic frequency until the whole semi-crystalline structure shatters. Could such a vibration have caused this? Who knows. but it doesn't seem to fit well either. The vibration would have had to have been unhearable by Ms X or others, yet be powerful. It would have had to have had some "help" to be unidirectional from inside out in its force effect. And nothing is known about anything which could have pulled this off. [and no other glass had a problem with what must have been very oddly focussed.]

So, maybe we still have a problem. If we do, did the mystery woman have anything to do with it? Again, who knows? She could have been a mere coincidence. Experiencers of weird things often combine everything even slightly out of the norm into their scrambling to find meaning in these things. We are REALLY at a loss on the "odd woman" part of this tale, due to lack of any description. It would have been "handy" if she was dressed "out-of-style". Then all manner of "reality slippage" sorts of ideas might be on the table.

With what little we have, the odd woman could be included in what has become a much expanded concept of the old "Men-in-Black" idea. The new version embraces all sorts of strangely behaving persons who show up for the weird interlude, make very little sense, then fade out of the story like an episode in a bad dream. Was she this sort of entity?

The thought of exploding windows brings the thought "poltergeist" to mind. Agreed, but poltergeist cases don't really do this. They might throw rocks at houses and windows, they might throw and burst inside crockery, sometimes hitting a window. But blowing out windows from the inside?.... others will know better than I. A "nice" violent crockery-shattering poltergeist case was the Baltimore, OH case of 1960. This was one of those ongoing things with many alleged events, centered in this case on the father of the family. It was attributed by the famous researcher, Nandor Fodor [whom we have talked about before on the blog], as being connected with the teenage son in the family. I have my skepticisms about the "unconscious psychokinesis in stressed teenagers" theory of poltergeists, but it is a thought prominently going about. Ms R assures me that her friend Ms X was nothing but a happy [generally] college girl at the time, however. And there is nothing repetitive about this.

So what have we? Rare odd physical event of some kind? Repressed subconscious PK? Dark "energy" or restless spirit brought to the house by a strange woman? Reality or time slippage?

Calling all experts!! Jerry Clark, where are you??


  1. I think stories like this remain the property of the claimant. At the least, they're interesting without offering much by way of straws to grasp at.

    For example, it's implied that the 'explosion' generated no heat or she would have described scorch effects. No mention of bric-a-brac in the room (lamps and so forth)being found moved or knocked down. Not a curtain out of place? Perhaps a Venetian blind awry?

    Minus such details, we're left with a directed force we can only speculate about. Even if her recollection has embroidered the details of glass being all over the street, it's tough to imagine a window breaking in only one direction.

    Perhaps it was winter and some obscure temperature difference, between outside and in, conspired to cause a flawed glass pane to shatter? Combined with the jitters about the peculiar visitor, maybe a broken window took on imaginative proportions?

    Out Proctor, the visitor would be a timely interventionist arriving only to detour our heroine from becoming part of an anomalous and destructive glitch in reality. The news would have reported 'Missing Student! Local Police Baffled By Bizarre Broken Glass.'

    The burden of these accounts have to remain with the claimant as only they know the veracity.

  2. I agree with all this, of course, and so, by the way does Ms R. We're presenting it with all its gaps here because it is not entirely unlike some anomalous events which have better details. We can thus speculate about this particular one with full humility in a stress-free environment. I'm assuming one thing from what Ms R did tell me and that is the unidirectionality and force of the glass blow-out. That DID seem to be a detail clearly stated and remembered. As to evidence of an explosion inside the room, the quote was: "The police saw no such thing when they investigated". So, there seems enough there to deem this legitimately mysterious. I, and she, just think that the experience is/was interesting, and that maybe others reading of it might have something similar or insightful to suggest. Thanks, as usual, for chiming in on this.

  3. I'm right here, Mike.

    I have nothing wise to say about broken glass, but the account does afford me the opportunity to remark on fashions in anomalies. Some phenomena -- notably poltergeists and ghost lights -- seem part of the constant background noise of history. Other things, such as mystery airships, sky serpents, and armies in the sky, exist in fading printed accounts but are exceedingly scarce on the ground -- well, in the air -- these days. I spend a whole lot of time reading 19th-Century newspapers in search of anomalies, of which there is no shortage; you could say Fort just skimmed the surface and be fairly accused of excessive generosity (which is no slighting of Fort, I hasten to stress).

    Anyway, to the strange woman: I'm sorry nothing is said or recalled of her clothing. One lost, ostensibly anomalous phenomenon is the Woman in Black, and the phrase is not mine. American papers from the latter 1800s recognized her as a type, and that was the name they gave her. She was observed walking down dark streets of towns and cities. People thought, to use modern psychogab, that her affect was eerie and peculiar. If she spoke, she spoke little, and her words didn't add up to much at all. Some people thought she was a ghost.

    There is, of course, little or nothing to be made of this. It's just among the innumerable oddities one encounters in the archives. The Woman in Black, remote, enigmatic, and no more, is never part of any larger narrative. There's no moral, only a passing sight that frightens or unnerves a pedestrian in her path, and there's no resolution. A story appears in the local press, and sometime later a follow-up notes that the Woman in Black has been seen again. Whoever she was or wasn't, she hasn't been reported in many decades, at least that I'm aware of.

    I don't know if your acquaintances' experience with the peculiar woman bears any link to this arcane oddity from another time. But in the absence of anything else, it's what comes to mind.

  4. Thanks, Jerry; informative and great "fun", as always. Ms R wanted to elicit such thoughts as these knowing that we couldn't get close enough to the case. If she bumps into her old friend again, she may ask her more about the woman [in black?]. Such a [hypothetically] "apparitional" strange walker does seem to pop up in all manner of inexplicable, seemingly meaningless encounters. Most Pookha encounters in Ireland seem a friendlier [albeit still "detached" as concerns the "dog",] sort of brief interfacing. In my family's poltergeist house, although the small boy, Kenny, is active and interactive with the "real world" girl of today, the patriarch of the old home is usually just standing there looking at his watch. If Ms X's woman was of like nature, she would be beyond the normal apparitional phenomenon usually experienced, as this woman could "pick up a phone" [unless that too was mere illusion a la the flying objects during an exorcism]. Anyway, we are just having some fun Out Proctor on this one, so all this is Mind-Expanding sharing, and thereby "OK" in this great old Universe of ours.

  5. This is strangely addicting to read... Please post more

    -Irwin Zinkin



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